From Thinking About What Might Have Been to Sharing What We Know: The Role of Counterfactual Mind-Sets in Information Sharing in Groups

30 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2002

See all articles by Adam D. Galinsky

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia Business School - Management

Laura Kray

Berkeley-Haas Management of Organizations; UC Berkeley Haas School of Business

Abstract

We hypothesized that the activation of a counterfactual mind-set minimizes group decision errors that result when a group relies on its members to share uniquely held information. In two experiments, groups were exposed to one of two pre-task scenarios in which the salience of counterfactual thoughts was manipulated. Subsequently they engaged in a murder mystery task. In both experiments, counterfactual mind-sets increased the discussion of uniquely held information and increased the likelihood of choosing the correct suspect. In addition, the number of counterfactual thoughts predicted both the discussion of unique information and decision accuracy. These results emerged regardless of whether the direction of the counterfactual thoughts was upward (Experiment 1) or downward (Experiment 2), suggesting that it is the process of thinking counterfactually and not the content of the counterfactuals that facilitated group decision making.

Keywords: Group decision-making, information sharing, counterfactual thinking

Suggested Citation

Galinsky, Adam D. and Kray, Laura, From Thinking About What Might Have Been to Sharing What We Know: The Role of Counterfactual Mind-Sets in Information Sharing in Groups. IACM 15th Annual Conference. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=305163 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.305163

Adam D. Galinsky (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Laura Kray

Berkeley-Haas Management of Organizations ( email )

545 Student Services Building
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

HOME PAGE: http://facultybio.haas.berkeley.edu/faculty-list/kray-laura

UC Berkeley Haas School of Business ( email )

545 Student Services Building, #1900
2220 Piedmont Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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